VAR Sales Guide: Vertical Market Use Cases for IoT
If you’re looking to develop an IoT practice, you need to be able to get into an account through different means than just the IT directory. Regardless of whom the sales team approaches, it must be armed with use cases in order to make headway. A lot of the opportunity in IoT will depend on the ability to offer creative solutions that may not have been possible in a sensor-less world.
When the possibilities are seemingly endless, customers will need some help in imagining the potential for IoT devices and sensors. Here are some examples to get the sales team’s creative juices flowing when selling into vertical markets.
Retail: In one real-life use case, Best Buy wanted to get an idea of where customers went when entering their stores. By taking advantage of motion sensors, they were able to see that an overwhelming majority of customers took a right once they entered the store doors. That helped drive layout decisions that put the highest-grossing and most enticing products to the right, and nuts-and-bolts items like appliances to the left.
So a VAR approaching a retail customer could ask a decision-maker: “If you could get into the heads of customers at the door, wouldn’t you?”
Hospitals: Avnet currently works with an OEM manufacturer that creates a device that goes on a patient’s wrist and measures blood pressure, sweat, heartbeat and even cholesterol level. Through these metrics it uniquely identifies patients and sends information for each one to a central database.
If a VAR were to partner with this OEM, it could potentially unlock a host of additional value for hospitals using it. This could mean more customized analytics for research, improved patient care and better overall site administration. Or it could be an opportunity to provide robust security, since this is dealing in sensitive patient data.
Energy/Facilities: Avnet works with companies deploying many types of facility and building automation IoT products and services. For instance, by placing thermal sensors in lighting pods, end users are able to detect when people are in a room or building and automatically control the lighting and the HVAC system.
In a related use case, Avnet offers a solution that incorporates sensors that measure power, water and gas usage in venues like zoos, stadiums and museums. The solution allows the venue manager to know what it costs to run the venue for a particular event. All of the usage data is aggregated to a centralized application to be analyzed and reported on.
Financial/Insurance: The insurance industry shows an accelerating appetite for creative uses of IoT. For example, insurance companies are already placing devices in personal vehicles to track driving behavior and incorporate that information into the underwriting process in order to adjust insurance premiums accordingly.
On the financial services side, one interesting use case is the dependence on weather sensors by companies to predict the approach of natural disasters in order to inform their stock trading. This kind of information has the power to potentially impact stock market prices in real time.
There’s no doubt that IoT will put a lot of money on the table for solution providers in the coming years. According to IDC, IoT will be a $1.7T market by 2020. That can mean amazing things for creative and driven VARs.
Analysts predict that we will likely figure out exactly how IoT is going to manifest itself in the market by mid-2017 or 2018. With much consolidation happening between IoT platform companies, VARs have time to develop their strategy and focus on a profitable area of IoT. But they must not delay.
Will that be Smart Transportation, Smart Agriculture, Smart Lighting, Smart Industrial or any of the many other growing areas of IoT? The sky is the limit for VARs, and focus is key.
As a diamond sponsor of IoT World held in Santa Clara, CA May 10th – 12th, 2016, Avnet will be offering several keynotes and featured on panels throughout the week. Stop by our booth, found at Booth #305 located at the entrance to the exhibition area, for more information on the agenda and how Avnet can help you in the IoT space – from edge to enterprise.
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